We are in the midst of preseason action and there is breaking news daily concerning injuries, camp battles and more. You have to pay close attention to all of this to stay on top of your dynasty league. For most of us, we do well to steal some time away from our families and jobs to watch the games on Sunday. It becomes difficult to monitor the daily happenings around the league, and even more demanding to process how that news affects your dynasty team.
That’s why we’re here!
Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the players on your team:
Russell Wilson, QB SEA
Wilson, the rookie competing for the starting job in Seattle, was very impressive in the team’s first preseason game. With fellow quarterback Tarvaris Jackson injured, starter Matt Flynn played the entire first half, while Wilson saw all of the second half snaps and played very well. He threw for 124 yards and a big 39 yard touchdown to wide receiver Braylon Edwards. While Flynn will likely win the starting job to begin the season, Wilson actually has more dynasty value currently.
Ronnie Brown, RB SD
The big news of the past several days was the shoulder injury to Chargers star running back Ryan Mathews, which we covered last week. This week, San Diego head coach Norv Turner revealed that veteran runner Ronnie Brown would run with the first team while Mathews is recovering, though he envisions a committee approach, along with Curtis Brinkley and LeRon McClain. Brown was very unimpressive last year serving as the backup for LeSean McCoy in Philadephia. All of the Charger backup running backs were quickly added in dynasty leagues last week, but none will likely be good options as a fantasy starter should Mathews miss any regular season game action.
David Garrard, QB MIA
Quarterback David Garrard, in a battle to be the Dolphins starter, injured his knee while playing at home with his children and underwent a scope procedure which will keep him out between two and four weeks. This all but eliminates Garrard from the quarterback competition, leaving incumbent starter Matt Moore to face off against rookie Ryan Tannehill for the job. There is even a risk now that Garrard will not make the team’s opening day roster. Any dynasty value he had left is now gone and he is a safe drop in most formats. Tannehill is the only option of the three with any dynasty value, although his rookie year could be a rough year with few receiving options.
Adrian Arrington, WR NO
The Saints wide receiver on the rise is again dealing with an injury that will cause him to miss some game action. This time, Arrington will undergo knee surgery and it is unknown exactly how much time he will miss at this time. It seems that every July, Arrington stakes his claim as a sleeper in the potent Saints’ offense and every year he disappoints, usually due to injury woes. With so many sleepers deserving a roster spot, it is time once again to boot Arrington from your dynasty roster.
Roberto Wallace, WR MIA
One sleeper who might be deserving of a place on your team is Dolphins wide receiver Roberto Wallace. In last week’s preseason game, Wallace displayed some big play ability on a team that desperately needs play makers. Wallace caught four passes for 71 yards. It has been assumed for a while that Davone Bess and Brian Hartline would be Miami’s primary receivers, but Hartline is still injured and Bess has been inconsistent and unimpressive. A player like Wallace could take this opportunity to make a name for himself.
Mike Kafka, QB PHI
Last week’s injury to starting quarterback Michael Vick’s thumb ended up being a false alarm, but the same cannot be said for number two passer Mike Kafka, who broke his left hand and will miss the remainder of the preseason. This will give rookie Nick Foles a chance to show what he can do. With Vick’s injury history, keeping an eye on the Eagles’ backup quarterbacks is always advised. Neither Kafka nor Foles are deserving of a roster spot in one quarterback leagues at this time.
Ryan Mallett, QB NE
The second year quarterback has been gaining value throughout the offseason as owners look for the next player in the mold of Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn, or possibly even the eventual successor to all time great Tom Brady in New England. Now though, come multiple reports of Mallett’s disappointing performance this preseason. There had been reports that the Patriots planned to shop one of Mallett or fellow backup Brian Hoyer, but that may not be an option at this point. Mallett still is worth rostering in dynasty leagues, but his preformance has to be a concern for dynasty owners as well as the Patriots.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
I usually don’t cover contract reports in this article, but the five year contract extension agreed to by Carolina and their running back Stewart this week has a huge impact on his dynasty value. Stewart has been thought of as one of the most talented running backs in the league since his career began, but has always been stuck behind DeAngelo Williams and that might continue as both players are now signed to long term deals. It is a curious move for both Stewart and the team as they now have a huge amount of money tied up in their two top running backs. Stewart also seems content to share the running back role rather than seeking a job to himself elsewhere. Opinions on how this affects Stewart’s value have varied greatly this week. I consider Stewart as a top talent and would use this as an opportunity to buy him at a discounted price, if possible.
Chad Johnson, WR FA
Johnson was arrested on charges of domestic violence and subsequently released by the Miami Dolphins. It is a big statement of the opinion of Johnson by the Dolphins considering their lack of weapons at wide receiver. He had very little dynasty value before the incident and now that is certainly gone. I doubt he gets another chance at a job in the league.
Bilal Powell, RB NYJ
Powell played a big role for the Jets in their preseason opener last weekend. There had been reports that he had surpassed fellow backup Joe McKnight on the Jets running back depth chart and those seem to be correct. With starting running back Shonn Greene’s lack of explosiveness and consistency, Powell could even steal some carries from the starter if his strong play continues. As valuable as young running backs are in dynasty leagues, Powell is certainly worth hanging on to while we see how the depth chart unfolds.
Cedric Benson, RB GB
The Green Bay Packers signed veteran running back Cedric Benson, who had received little interest for much of the offseason. It was obvious that the team was unhappy going into the season with James Starks as their primary ball carrier, especially with his injury concerns. Second year man Alex Green has been a prospect getting a lot of attention from dynasty owners this offseason, but he is unproven in the NFL and coming off a torn ACL in his rookie year. This is a move that makes all three players nearly worthless in the short term. With Benson likely to start week one, he will get some attention from owners, but the team will remain pass happy and Benson is not know for his receiving skills. Green might have the most dynasty value of the three.
Marcus Easley, WR BUF
Easley, the Bills young wide receiver, has been a dynasty sleeper favorite of many, including our own Steve Wyremski and Jarrett Behar. Recent reports have not been good for Easley, though, as he battles consistency issues and has been passed on the Bills wide receiver depth chart by veteran Derek Hagan and rookie TJ Graham. Easley is now in danger of being cut by the Bills. He would surely get picked up and given another shot in the league. If you have the space and have been holding Easley, don’t give up yet.
Randy Moss, WR SF
SI.com reported this week that the 49ers plan to limit veteran wideout Randy Moss to 20-25 plays per game. Since Moss signed with San Francisco, he has risen up the rankings and become a dynasty sleeper, but this puts a damper on those plans. While he remains a high upside wide receiver, this does hurt his stock somewhat.
John Skelton, QB ARI
Reports this week say that Cardinals quarterback John Skelton is now the favorite to win the starting job in Arizona. Expected starter Kevin Kolb has struggled through both preseason games and suffered a rib injury as well. While Skelton’s statistics have not been stellar either, he has gained steam in the competition. While both players have faired poorly, the winner of the starting job remains worthy or a roster spot, thanks to the opportunity to throw to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald all season.
Roy Helu, RB WAS
It was revealed this week that Redskins running back Roy Helu is dealing with Achilles’ tendonitis and will be brought back slowly. There had already been reports that Evan Royster would win the starting job in Mike Shanahan’s rotating backfield and that seems even more certain now. As usual, it is hard to gain a good understanding of how the Washington backfield will play out and the best advice is to avoid all players involved. If you already own Helu, you have to hold onto him as he seems to have the most talent of any running back on the roster.
Rod Streater, WR OAK
With starting wide receiver Denarius Moore out and Jacoby Ford struggling, the rookie shined in his first professional action as he reeled in six catches for 66 yards. The depth chart is crowded in Oakland, but performances like this will earn Streater a spot on the roster and maybe even a role on game day. If you have roster spots to spare in deep leagues, he is a great stash for the remainder of the preseason.
Jeff Demps, RB FA
With the conclusion of the Olympics this week, running back Jeff Demps can now return his attention to football and he expressed an interest in signing with a team prior to the start of the season. There have reportedly been many teams interested in the speedy former Gator, namely Tampa Bay and the New York Jets. Demps will be a huge value in leagues that award points for return yardage and could get some action in the slot for the team he chooses. He has already been added by owners in many of my leagues and I expect that to continue this weekend, when he likely makes his choice. As with so many sleepers and young players at this time of year, he is worth stashing if you have the roster flexibility.
Jason Witten, TE DAL
The Cowboys starting tight end will miss the remainder of preseason action due to a lacerated spleen, an injury he suffered in the team’s preseason game against Oakland. Witten, at age 30, had seen his dynasty stock slowly fall as a large group of young tight ends are changing the role of the position in the league. There were already concerns about the Cowboys’ offensive line and this further hurts the stock of the offensive players in general.
Isaac Redman, RB PIT
Steelers starting running back Isaac Redman suffered a groin injury and underwent a MRI to determine the severity. While little was revealed about the results, Redman did not seem concered and said he would return to practice next week. The team was already dealing with injuries to running backs Jonathan Dwyer and of course, Rashard Mendenhall. Baron Batch and rookie Chris Rainey will now get a chance to claim their role on the offense during the upcoming preseason action. Redman’s value was already uncertain, and this hurts his dynasty stock even more.
Jahvid Best, RB DET
On the same day as the Witten and Redman injury news, we also learned that explosive Lions running back Jahvid Best is likely to begin the season on the PUP list, disqualifying him from the first six regular season games. Best has yet to fully practice this preseason and head coach Jim Schwarz has characterized his status as week-to-week. These are all obvious bad signs for Best’s future with the team and in the league. His concussion history is a major concern and he may never see the field again. At this point, he has almost no dynasty value. If you find an owner who understands the situation and is still willing to take a shot on Best, take anything you can get. Kevin Smith and Mikel Leshoure are expected to handle the running back duties, but both have serious injury histories of their own to deal with. However, both of these running backs still seem fairly cheap in dynasty leagues and make great acquisitions at the right price.
Steve Smith, WR STL
There have been multiple positive reports regarding the play of Rams wide receiver Steve Smith making a strong push to start opposite Danny Amendola. Smith has dealt with several injuries the past few years, but now looks healthy and motivated by the Rams’ drafting rookie wideouts Brian Quick and Chris Givens. Smith is a cheap option in deep leagues for teams needing wide receiver depth as the regular season nears.
Shane Vereen, RB NE
There have been multiple positive reports about New England running back Shane Vereen in recent days. It has been assumed for much of the off-season that fellow sophomore Stevan Ridley would earn the starting nod, but he is again struggling to hold onto the ball, opening the door for Vereen to earn some additional touches. Both players have a lot of upside and will likely cost you quite a bit, thanks to their role in the high powered Patriot offense.
Check back next week for another update on the week’s impact events!
Follow Ryan McDowell on Twitter @RyanMc23.